2023 Arnold Classic Invites
Two-Time Champion William Bonac, 2021 Champ Nick "The Mutant" Walker Highlight 2023 Arnold Classic Field
Two-time Arnold Classic champion William “The Conqueror” Bonac, 2021 Arnold Classic champ Nick "The Mutant" Walker and two time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay headline the field at the 35th Arnold Classic men’s open bodybuilding championships at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival.
Bonac, who won the Arnold Classic in 2018 and 2020, is vying to become just the fifth bodybuilder to win the Arnold Classic at least three times and join an exclusive list that includes five-time champion Dexter Jackson, four-time winner Flex Wheeler and three-time champs Kai Greene and Jay Cutler.
Walker, fresh off a third-place finish in the 2022 Mr. Olympia, returns to the Arnold stage for the first time since winning in his Columbus debut in September 2021.
Elssbiay won the Mr. Olympia in 2020 and 2021 and is one of the sport’s greatest champions. He last competed on the Arnold stage in 2020 when he finished third. Elssbiay also won the Arnold Classic Brasil in 2015 and the Arnold Classic Europe in 2017.
Shaun "GK" Clarida will make his first appearance in the Arnold Classic after winning the 212 Mr. Olympia in 2020 and 2022. Clarida took first place in his only other men’s open competition, winning the title at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest.
Also in the field is Chinedu "Andrew Jacked" Obiekea who earned a spot by winning the overall title at the 2022 Arnold Amateur Bodybuilding Championships on the Arnold stage last March. Now he returns to take at shot at the Arnold Classic title and the first place prize of $300,000.
The Arnold Classic field also features Samson Dauda, fresh of an incredibly impressive 6th place finish at the 2022 Olympia, former 212 Arnold and 212 Olympia Champion Kamal Elgarni and IFBB Pro champions Patrick Moore, Justin Rodriguez, Akim Williams.
The Arnold Sports Festival will feature IFBB Pro League contests in seven divisions in 2023.
A field of seven in Arnold Classic Physique is topped by Ramon “Dino” Rocha Queiroz who backed up a second-place finish in Columbus last year with a second-place showing at the Classic Physique Olympia. To win his first Arnold title he will need to beat 2020 champ Alex Cambronero and Urs Kalecinski, third on the Arnold and Olympia stages in 2022.
Defending champion Erin Banks is back in Arnold Men’s Physique after adding the Men’s Physique Olympia title to his impressive resume. Emanuel Hunter, second in Columbus in 2022, and Diogo Montenegro, third here a year ago, are also in the field of 10. Juan Manuel Gomez earned an automatic invite for winning the overall at the 2022 Arnold Amateur.
Ariel Khadr is back to defend her title in Fitness International after winning for the first time in 2022 and placing third at the Fitness Olympia. Contenders looking to take away her title include Jaclyn Baker, who finished third in Columbus last year and second at 2022 Fitness Olympia. 2022 Arnold Amateur champ Kristin Pope earned an automatic invitation.
Lauralie Chapados returns to Columbus to defend her Bikini International against one of the most competitive lineups ever! This year's field boasts an unprecedented four Bikini International and three Bikini Olympia champions. Chapados will be challenged by Maureen Blanquisco, who’s fresh off winning this year’s Bikini Olympia after finishing second in Columbus in 2022. Also among the field of 10 are two-time Bikini International and three-time Olympia Champion Ashley Kaltwasser and 2021 Bikini International and Olympia champion Jennifer Dorie.
Defending champion Isabelle Nunes leads a field of eight in Wellness International as the top three from 2022 return, including runner-up Angela Borges and Sunny Andrews (third).
Defending champion Gabriele Andriulli and five-time champion Harold Kelley are among 10 contenders for the Arnold Pro Wheelchair title.
The Arnold Classic Men’s Open Prejudging and Arnold Classic Physique, Fitness International and Wellness International will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023; while the Arnold Classic Finals and Arnold Men’s Physique, Bikini International will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
2023 Arnold Invite Lists
Arnold Classic (10)
Mamdouh "Big Ramy" Elssbiay
Chinedu Andrew Obiekea
Classic Physique (7)
Ramon Rocha Queiroz
Men's Physique (10)
Edvan Ferreira Palmeira
Juan Manuel Gomez
Fitness International (9)
Bikini International (10)
Wellness International (8)
Pro Wheelchair (10)